Thursday, December 30, 2010

Week of Christmas

Hello all! I wanted to share with you some activities we did the last week of Advent. In the next post (I promise it will be up soon!) I will share what we did for was so much fun!

Kristie gave me several snowflake stickers. We made some crafts, but with the leftovers, we sorted. It was a little more complicated for the kids than I wished, but maybe it would work next year when they are older?

I got this idea from Counting Coconuts, one of my favorite education blogs. My friend Merima made me a tree out of felt, put buttons on it and cut out the ornaments out of felt. The kids match the color of ornament to the color button. This was one of Elijah's favorites.

I cut out some paper trees for the kids to decorate with some cute little Christmas stickers

Then the kids (well, Israel...Elijah didn't want to) stringed beads in a candy cane pattern on a pipe cleaner. Israel really enjoyed this activity.

December twenty third was Israel's ballet recital. The room was so crowded, but Josh managed to get a few shots:

After the recital, Josh got a picture of Israel with her friends Sara and Ada:


Monday, December 20, 2010

Advent time...

Okay, here is a real post about our advent time with PICTURES!

This first one is making glitter light holders to symbolize Jesus as the Light of the World:

Israel with Shannon and her candle holder

Elijah putting on the glue

Baby Kristijan (Merima's baby)

Decorating Gingerbread cookies with "Baka" (Kristie)

A Montessori Activity...taken from the blog One Hook Wonder. They take straw from the bowl with tweezers and put them in the cut open toilet paper roll. then they put the clothes pin baby Jesus in it :) They both enjoyed this activity.

Israel playing with the Christmas Lapbook (You can make one Here):

This was a fun activity. We read the story : The Legend of the Poinsetta by Tomie DePaola

The story is about a little girl in Mexico who because of her mother's illness can't make the gift she wanted for the baby Jesus in the manger at the church. The night of the Christmas Eve service, she meets an old woman who tells her she can bring any gift to the baby Jesus, it doesn't have to be something fancy. Just something from your heart. The little girl sees a large group of weeds so she pulls them and places them at the altar. The weeds turn into poinsettias. We made these cute little ornaments to teach the kids that giving the gift from the heart is what matters to God. We took the white paper and crumpled it, then said the poem "What can I give Him poor as I am? If I were a shepherd I would give a lamb. If I were a wise man, I would do my part. What can I give Him? I'll give Him my heart" We crumpled the paper to symbolize that even though our gifts before God look like weeds, He takes it and turns it into something beautiful. Do you like the final outcome? :)

Here's an idea I picked up from Counting Coconuts Christmas tree decorating! It was a hit :)

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Elijah Dancing After Sledding

A look back...recorded about a year ago but I still laugh every time i see it!

Christmas Week at Irby Road

Hello all!
It has been a busy time here at Irby Road, but we wanted to update you with what is going on:

-- Thursday night we had the privilege of leading the Carol Sing for the British Embassy. It was a beautiful service in the beautiful Franciscan church near our home. We led the congregation in several familiar carols and some children did some readings in between. Afterwards we went to the Ambassador's home for mince pie and mulled wine, then to dinner with our team at a local restaurant. It was really nice. The Ambassador who is leaving this year said he will give our name to the next Ambassador so we can be on for next year. We talked a long time with his wife, who is so nice. They also want to get together with us to talk about the Miss Irby project.

--Saturday Josh spent the day skiing with some of our team mates and some guy students. They almost didn't make it up the hill the snow was so bad! I spent the day inside with the kids while flakes as big as nickels fell from the sky. It was so cool to this Georgia girl. The kids and I started a new Christmas Lapbook which we finished today. We didn't get to go out in the snow because Elijah has developed a pretty bad cough and cold.

--Today I stayed home from church with Elijah. We want him well for Christmas. On Friday we will go to a cabin at Jahorina, one of the Olympic mountains here. We expect lots of snow! The Trousdales and Jacksons will join us there.

If you think of it please pray for the Jacksons' kids (Nolen, age 4 months has a respiratory infection and Ella, age 2 has the flu) and please pray for Tyler Trousdale, age 2 who has the same cold as Elijah.

Thanks and Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Young Hero and the Horrible told by Eiljah

We love The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones. Elijah loves David and Goliath, so he wanted to share this story with you. Enjoy!

Christmas Poetry

One of our favorite Christmas activities this season...enjoy and feel free to use it!

I have to give credit where credit is due. I got this idea from and this poem from Check out these blogs for some great ideas!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Fun at the FARM!

Today was I think the most fun day we have ever had! After a couple of days where snow has fallen, we went with our friend Mirza to his family farm. They own several acres of land on a mountain and they farm buckwheat and other organic food. How fun! First we went on a long walk to find the perfect tree. We cut down a pretty little Christmas tree and took turns sledding down the road. Then we came back to the house and drank some hot cocoa with whipped cream. After that we made a long hike into the woods to find a field perfect for sledding! A very large hill proved to be just what we needed. It was so much fun.

Later, we made our way into the house for a special lunch prepared by the kitchen staff of Mirza's farm. Tea, crepe and cheese pie and crepes with honey.

Lastly, we made a quick trip to OBI (think home depot) and bought some Christmas decorations.

My only regret is that we didn't bring our camera!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Goodbye Shannon, Hello Jacksons and SNOW!

So Shannon and I joked around about how when she leaves the snow would come. No one would have thought that 2 mornings of no jacket weather (that's right! it felt like spring!) meant a night full of snow and still more to come! As I type this I look out my window and see a winter wonderland. I love living in a country so beautiful that it can look pretty any time of year.

On Tuesday morning, Shannon and I got up really early (hello 4am!) and I drove her to the airport. It was sad saying goodbye to her as she has become another part of our family. The kids miss her a lot. We are now having different ladies come to babysit. But our kids miss Shannon terribly!

The sadness was accompanied by joy as we welcomed some more teammates: Ben and Rachel and their 2 children Ella and Nolen to Sarajevo. 4 years we have waited to have everyone together. And now the Jacksons, Trousdales and us are finally together. It was fun this morning at staff time to be all together looking out over the snow covered city.

Last night I joined the STINT girls and some wonderful students at their house as we decorated gingerbread cookies and had yummy apple cider. I just love Christmas!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Israel's Christmas Song

Tonight Israel and Josh (and Elijah too) were jammin' after our family devotion time on Advent. This girl is ROCKIN'! Check out her video of FREE-STYLE (yes , she is making this all up as she goes).

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

We are Thankful.

(Photo Credit ESL Cast)

"What are you thankful for?" This is often a question we ask each other every Thanksgiving. Usually I answer the same : My family, my friends, my home, etc. But this year is a bit different. In light of our recent loss, my perspective has changed. I would like to share with you some things we are thankful for here at Irby Road:

When I first realized we were loosing our baby, I was angry. "Why did You tease me, God? Letting me see the heart strongly beating like this only to take him five days later?"
A sweet whisper from the Holy Spirit: "Some women never get to see their sweet angels alive"

So. I'm thankful that we got to see our Little One living. I truly am. To see that sweet heart beating away, even if it would only beat five more days is a gift.

When I realized I was actually nine weeks along, I was angry because after looking at the picture in my pregnancy book I realized he looked more like a baby than an alien. That upset me. Then God spoke to me again, "You got to hold him two more weeks than you thought." Oh thank you, God. I am thankful.

I am reading The Redemption Series by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley right now. There is a quote in the chapter I read last week...she is quoting the First John and then she goes on to explain it: "'Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.' God always wins. And He is always greater." Isn't that amazing?! Satan can never win. Not even in death. God is always the champion.

We are thankful that we as a family feel closer. We appreciate each other more and Josh and I see how each of our children is a miracle. Even Little One.

I'm thankful that because of this experience, I feel connected with so many women who I would have never shared a connection. This week at ballet, I sat with three moms who had gone through the same thing. Our conversation was deep. I am thankful.

A dear friend Hilarie Jones shared this verse with us: "The Lord gives you the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places..." (Is. 45:3) We are thankful for the treasures we are learning and the hidden riches we are receiving in these hidden places we would otherwise never go. Especially this next one...

Israel committed to following Jesus. So read more about this see the post "God uses Little One, part 1." What an amazing thing to be thankful for!

I'm thankful for what God is doing in and through me.

We are thankful for our church family here. Their demonstration of love on Sunday was incredible.
We are thankful for all you who showed and continue to show love to our family. Your prayers and notes of encouragement have helped carry us.


What are you thankful for?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Church Becomes our Family

This morning was difficult. A week ago, we were looking forward to letting our church know that we were expecting a new baby. We heard the heart, we were in the clear. But this morning, our sweet pastor Slavko asked Josh to share about our difficult week.

Our church was full of tears, and I was grateful my friend Debbie from Bible study was next to me. I could cry on her shoulder and she could cry on mine (she was one of the few who knew). It's good to know we are not the only ones mourning. Little One had a profound impact on other people too.

Josh shared in such a beautiful way the journey where God is leading us. He shared about Israel's decision for Christ and the whole church prayed for us. I felt the enemy shaken...he just can't win. God has the victory. Jesus is the hero. And the church became our family today.

Our team also had a sweet time on Friday morning in prayer and worship. We sang out past our tears a song Josh and his brother Seth wrote just a few years ago "We believe You are good...we believe You are good..." I'm so thankful God placed such wonderful people around us. He is good. He cannot be anything contrary. We stand on that promise. We have no other choice.

Friday, November 19, 2010

God uses Little One, pt. 1

Last night Israel, Elijah and Josh went to a birthday party. On the way Israel began talking about Little One. They had a conversation about Heaven and about how everyone who trusts in God gets to be with Him forever. Josh asked Israel if she knew how to trust in God.

"We go to church, so we trust in God."
"Not everyone who goes to church trusts in God."
"We read the Bible, so we trust in God."
"Reading the Bible does not mean we trust in God."

The conversation shifted quickly to the brightly dancing lights on the mosque outside the car window as Yesterday was Bajram, a Muslim holiday here.

"But what are the beautiful lights for, Daddy?"
"What is Bajram?"
"Bajram is where they sacrifice a lamb to remember that Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son, but God gave him a lamb to sacrifice instead. But we don't sacrifice a lambs anymore because Jesus said He is the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world."

Then they talked about the holidays we celebrate to honor Christ: Christmas for His birth, Easter for His resurrection and one day we will celebrate Him coming back...and everyone who trusts in Him will be with Him forever.

That brought the conversation back to trusting God.

"First it's about recognizing that we do bad things. Remember when you were mean to Mommy today?"
"Yes, Satan whispers to us and says 'Yeah, be mean to Mommy!'"
"Yeah and too many times we listen and do what he says. But that's why Jesus died on the cross so He could forgive us for all the wrong things we do. Trusting in God is saying 'I'm tired of being the boss of my life. God, will You be the boss of my life?'"
(Insert confused question) "Tired of being the boss of my life?" (Israel enjoys her role as first born girl and being bossy)
"Yeah, when we're the boss we always mess things up, but God never messes things up when He's the boss. And that's what is really means to trust in God."
"So does Jesus whisper in our ears (insert whisper voice) 'Trust in Me. Trust in Me.'"
"Yes, He does. And what He wants us to do is to pray to Him and ask Him to forgive us and be the boss of our life."
"Can we pray that right now?"
Josh wanted to stall so that we could all be together when she prayed. He also wanted to make sure she understood everything so he asked her to say everything back to him again. She did.

When they got home it had been over 2 hours later. Josh had Israel explain it all to me. She got it. She understood the Gospel. Then she asked if she could pray that right then. Never did Josh ask if she wanted to pray. It was her initiative. And it was the most precious prayer.

Today Israel was a different child. When she was frustrated and disobeying, it was obvious she was working things out with the Lord. During her disobedience I asked her, "Israel, who is the boss of your life?" She replied, "I want God to be the boss of my life, Mommy. I'm sorry. Please forgive me." It's the transformation God offers us through the cross. And He is changing our four and a half year old girl. And He is changing us. We are grateful.

And Little One rejoices too. Yes, sweetheart. Your life has dignity. Your life has purpose. And your big sister will join you in Heaven because God used you. We love you.

We are thankful and rejoicing that God would bring this about during such a difficult part of our journey; that God would use our Little One to help our Big One give her life to Jesus.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A difficult Path

We had a very eventful weekend. I wanted to write all about our fun adventured in Doboj, a city a few hours away where we spent time with a Bosnian family to be immersed in language., but unfortunately that post will either not be written or will need to be postponed. Because on the car ride home from Doboj, I began to bleed and not feel well. You see up until Sunday night, I was carrying our 3rd child. we were only 7 weeks along, but after hearing a very healthy heartbeat and seeing a beautifully developing child on the ultrasound just Wednesday, we had started to tell more people than just our close friends and family. The most difficult people we had to tell about the miscarriage were Israel and Elijah. They had been so excited. But they are taking it well.

This has been a traumatic experience as I'm sure it is for anyone who has to deal with this. This baby was a real human being. We were looking forward to holding him. To smelling his sweet smell. To kissing his baby cheeks. To dressing him up and decorating his nursery. We will kiss and play and sing in Heaven...but until then, we wait.

I'm still processing all that happened. All we are learning, individually and as a family. But I know God has made us stronger through this loss, and my children seem more precious to me than ever.

If you think of it, please pray for us as a family. We are praising God for Shannon, who has been wonderfully taking care of the children when I need to lay down and grieve a bit. She also cleaned our house yesterday. My dear friend Mirela came with me to the doctor yesterday to translate. Sweet friends from my Bible study and Ashley on our team have brought or offered to bring meals. We feel surrounded by God's family all over the world.

We are rejoicing in a new day, that the hardest day is now over. Our baby is no longer in pain. Thank you for your prayers.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A new post...

I can give a brief recap of happenings at Irby road the last few months:

Shannon has made her way into our family and sure does fit nicely. It's hard to believe she will only be with us a little over a month more. We are trying not to think about it! She has been such a big help and the kids really love her.

Josh has met with the pastors in the country about possibilities for his book "Meeting Miss Irby" hopefully going to be released next September. He's meeting with the national CCC Staff team about possibilities. We are really excited about this project.

The kids are enjoying homeschool. We are doing "My Father's World" kindergarten. Elijah sits in and participates in calendar time, song time, story time and as Israel does her work (she is learning to read!) Elijah colors in his Spiderman coloring book. While the kids do their "work" we are enjoying playing the CD "25 Classical Favorites". I have a plan to one day focus on a composer of the week (we did that once with Mozart) but right now it's too much.

Israel continues to excel in ballet. Her teacher came out of the classroom and got my attention to make sure Israel showed me how she was able to put her feet in 5th position. She was so proud of her and said she is "Fantastic and Excellent". Of course, we agree.

Elijah continues to pursue his dreams of actually being Spiderman. He turned 3 in October and had a Spiderman/superhero birthday party joining up with Tyler Trousdale (they share a birthday) who turned 2. Elijah loves Tyler. He calls him "TyTy" and "My Buddy". It's going to be fun to watch these boys grow up together.

We had a Halloween party last night at a friend's house. It was fun. Israel was a Flamenco dancer and Elijah was a pirate.

Last of all: I need to know if these updates are being read. Not many comments are posted, and if this is not an accurate way of notifying people, please let me know and I can find a different way to let people know what's going on. Thanks!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Our time in Croatia

Hey all,
Just a quick update. We returned from our annual national conference in Croatia. Josh went a few days early and then Shannon, the kids and I drove up on Wednesday. Unfortunately, I forgot our passports when we were about 1 1/2 hours out of Sarajevo so I had to drive back to get them. Praise God Shannon was with us! I don't think I could have done it without her!

We spent the night in Zagreb with some friends and then made the 3 hour trip the next day following the Trousdales up there. The conference was great. The kids enjoyed time with Shannon and Tyler Trousdale while we enjoyed the sessions. Josh and I led worship and listened to some great talks about the Gospel from a professor at a nearby seminary.

On our way back home we stopped in a small Bosnian town, Doboj, to have dinner with a Bosnian family we met on the beach. They have 2 kids, a boy and a girl who our kids get along great with. We stayed at their place for 3 hours, speaking only in Bosnian. It was really fun. We plan to stop by their place each time we go to Zagreb or along that route, as their house is pretty much on the way.

Shannon rode back with the Trousdales because they had a more comfortable place to sit in their car (we didn't think Shannon would enjoy being squished between 2 carseats and behind 2 tall people!) but their car broke down in Zagreb and so they are still there, hopefully to return today. Please pray for their safe travels.

thanks everyone for praying for us! we love you guys!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Shannon's here, more busy weeks!

Hey all,
Just another quick update:
Shannon is here! Shannon will live with us for 3 months. She raised support to come here and simply serve us. And our kids love her! Usually the kids will throw fits when we leave for language study, but now they jump for joy when they find out Shannon will babysit! She is such a blessing to have in the home. We went together with our STINT team to Vrelo Bosne (a beautiful park in Sarajevo) and played frisbee. Israel and Elijah learned how to climb trees last Saturday at Anni's birthday party, so they were practicing that and they tried their best to throw and catch the frisbee :)

The Trousdales arrive today! Please pray for Jonathan, Ashley and Tyler as the adjust.

Croatia next week! We will attend our conferences for Croatia/Bosnia staff. Josh will leave Monday for the campus days conference and then Shannon, the kids and I will join him on Thursday for the staff conference. Shannon will work child care. Please pray for us as we travel and for God to move in our lives at the conference.

We have started Kindergarten for Israel. Please pray for both of us as we work on this! It's fun, but also has its challenges.

Thank you for your prayers!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Busy week ahead...

Hello! We just returned from a very relaxing time at the coast. We met a Bosnian family there. It was wonderful, as the kids played together and we were able to have great conversations in Bosnian. The kids enjoyed playing in the water and in the sand.
We went from the coast to the Brents' house for 2 days. They have lived in Split for 10 years and they have 3 girls who our kids adore! We returned to Sarajevo a couple of days ago.
This next week and a half will be particularly busy, so we would appreciate your prayers as:

1. I have started Kindergarten with Israel. After much wise advice, I decided to purchase My Father's World curriculum . We started yesterday and it is really fun, just please pray for both of us! My goal is to get her reading before she turns 6 and then goes to Bosnian school where she will have to learn to read in Bosnian.

2. Our STINT team arrives on Tuesday. Before then, Josh and Djordje are trying to find them an apartment (the guy STINTers' contract fell through last week). Please pray for them as they look!

3. I'm looking for an apartment for the married STINT couple joining our team on Tuesday.

4. Shannon Murphy, our nanny, arrives on Saturday, Sept 1!

5. Jonathan and Ashley Trousdale , the first of our long term team, will be joining us on Wednesday, Sept 8!

Please join us in prayer for all of our "newbies" and lots of transitions. Thank you all so much for your love and prayers!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

To the coast...

We leave for the coast on Friday! So excited! We will all stay in a one room apartment near the water. It will be great, but tight !

This will be our last "hurrah" before the school year starts and the pace picks up a bit. You can pray that our time as a family would be sweet and we would prepare for the faster pace ahead.

We also had 3 rooms in our house painted yesterday: Our bedroom (love it!), the office which will be Elijah's bedroom when Shannon gets here and Elijah's current bedroom which will be Shannon's bedroom while she's here. All are various shades of blue and I'm just so excited about the new changes!

Thank you all for your prayers and love.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fashion Show!

Hey just wanted to tell you something funny: last night at Dzenana's shop our little girls were playing together with some other girls. Then, all of a sudden, Dzenana turned on Black Eyed Peas and started dressing up all the girls and they had a first class fashion show! Complete with poses! It was a RIOT!!! People on the street just stopped by to watch and take pictures! I'm going to post the pics on my facebook site so make sure to look. ! :)

Other news: It was my first day back in language class and I had a great time. It was so wonderful to see Sandra (my teacher). She answered the door and it was so refreshing to have what I felt like mirroring smiles! (my smile was as big as hers) "Ciao!!!!" And a big hug and kiss on the cheek . The class went great. 1 hour of talking in only Bosnian. I love my teacher!

Hey, if you would like to learn some Bosnian for free, check out's great!

Okay, just wanted to send a quick update. And please post comments, they make our day!

OH and (hint hint) here's our address:

23 Veliki Alifakovac
71000 Sarajevo
Bosnia i Hercegovnia

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

English Camp! Karens...etc....

Hey everyone,
Just wanted to update you with this week's happenings. Another organization here "Nova Zora" (New Dawn) brought in a team from Minnesota and they did an English Camp for kids at a youth center here. Israel and I attended and I helped in the 4-6 year old classroom. For Monday-Wed. of this week we participated in group singing and dancing, games, and art. I got to know some precious Bosnian children and use my language a lot. I met the preschool teacher who works there and she asked me to help teach some music classes (maybe once a month or as I would like) in Bosnian!

Another really fun thing was last week: Karen Butler (on staff in Zagreb, Croatia) and her friend Karen came. Karen (friend of Karen B.) is an English teacher and was helping Josh get started on writing the Miss Irby book. It was very helpful for him. We also attended the Sarajevo Film Festival with them, such a treat!

Some more news: Our dear friends the Tinlins are leaving Sarajevo because of Dan (he's the dad) has some heart problems and has to have surgery. Please join us in prayer for this dear family. Dan is a pediatrician and was working on opening a clinic here, free for all Bosnians. Their girls babysit for us and Julie is a dear friend! We are praying that they will be able to return.
The Tinlins were expecting Shannon, a full time nanny, to arrive in September. But because they have to leave in 2 weeks, Shannon will now be staying and nannying for us! I talked with this dear girl (graduated college 2 years ago with an education degree) and I have a feeling we are going to get along great! This is a huge answer to prayer, as we didn't know what we were going to do after our regular babysitter has her baby (early October), or for childcare while at the national conference in September. Shannon just stepped right in and we are excited to welcome her to our team from September 3 until December 7! Please join us in prayer for Shannon as she prepares to come.

Just wanted to update you with this information...stay tuned for more very soon. :) And pictures are posted on my facebook.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

We Made It

Thank you everyone for praying for us ! After a 2 day journey (we stayed in Copenhagen overnight because of our late flight) we made it. We are home! We are so happy to be back in Sarajevo seeing our friends and speaking Bosnian. You can pray for us as we resettle: that we find a good preschool for the kids, that our language comes back and we can start classes soon, and for adjustment for the kids. Thank you!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Overdue update!

Hey guys,
First of all, thank you for being patient with us as we haven't updated in a while. Life has been busy, as I'm sure all of your lives have been. Where did we leave off...

1. Thank you for praying for our friends the Jacksons. Anne is doing better, although still suffering the effects of a brain injury. You can follow her recovery here:

2. We packed up in Bosnia and came back to Atlanta for a month. We had a great time seeing family and friends but of course it was so short we didn't get everyone in we wanted to. :( You guys who we didn't see...come over to Bosnia!

3. Currently we are finishing our time in Ft. Collins, Colorado for our training with our team. It has been very beneficial and we are enjoying life at a slower pace. My (Taylor) parents arrive today and will attend the parent sessions later this week.

4. We return to Bosnia in about a week! Please pray for our transitions and stress level as leaving is always hard, but we are really looking forward to being home! Thanks guys!

5. Josh continues to work on his book about Miss Irby and Irby Road. (Josh's distant cousin came to Sarajevo 150 years ago and became a national hero because of her humanitarian work) Please pray as he will start working with a writing coach once we return to Sarajevo.

Thanks everyone for your prayers!
Oh, and if you would like to give financially, please visit: and type in our names. Thanks!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Please pray for our friends the Jacksons

Hey everyone,
We are doing well here in Sarajevo. Our friends who live in Turkey came for a visit, so we are having fun with them. They may stay here a while due to the volcano cloud!

Just a quick update to please pray for our sweet friends, Eric and Kathryn Jackson and their family. Kathryn and the kids were in a very bad car accident last week and their sweet 5 year old daughter, Anne, is in ICU. Check out the caring bridge site and pray! Anne is such an awesome kid, we want to support this family as much as we can!!! And prayer is the best way to do it .

thanks, guys!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Weekend

We are enjoying our Easter weekend, although missing you all at home. Quick rundown what's going on at Irby Road...

Good Friday: We got to play some "Jesus Music" (as our friend Armin, the boss of the pub, calls it) at the British Pub here. It was great. Armin loves the Jesus music :) haha. It was wonderful, for 3 hours we played worship songs, CCM and everything.

Saturday: We had a great time with our dear friend Dzenana and her family at her nephew's 1st birthday party. It was so much fun. Israel and Elijah had their own fun playing with the other kids and eating lots and lots of dried meat. (I think this has replaced chocolate for them!)

Today: Kids woke up to gift bags with Easter loot. We celebrate not with the Easter Bunny, but saying that because Jesus rose from the dead, there are many blessings He gives us. So we have Easter blessings in the bags. It was great fun teaching the kids that when someone says "He is Risen!" They reply "He is Risen indeed!" Josh preached at church today and now we are preparing our Easter feast with friends Todd, Karen and Bethany and baby Josh to play and have an Easter Egg Hunt. Should be fun.

Have a great Easter! He has risen! He has risen indeed!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

All Well...Now for Passover

Israel is well, and our church is celebrating Passover tonight. We are happy to celebrate with them, esp. because we used to do it every year as an Irby family at Josh's parents' house. I'm making chocolate macaroons for it this afternoon, I think I'll ask Israel to help me.

Israel and Josh had a pretty cool talk last night. She disobeyed last night (after Josh asked her to get ready for her bath) so Josh had to have a "talk" with her in her room about listening vs. talking back. After a very long talk (and a bit of discipline) she ran right out, butt naked and ready for a bath! She said, "I'm sorry Mommy for not doing what Daddy asked, but now I'm ready for my bath." I forgave her and she got in the tub. After about 5 minutes of playing, she (on her own) put all the toys back in the toy bag, lifted the plug, and got out of the tub. Ran in her room and grabbed a diaper, and got ready for bed by herself. She cleaned her room and asked for her Gummies (vitamins) so I gave them to her. Last week, I accidentally gave her 4 (she usually gets 3) and we had a big talk because she lied about getting 4, saying she only got 3. (she was hiding the 4th one behind her back saying she didn't have 4) But last night I gave her 4 by mistake again and she said "Mommy, I got 4, here's one back!"

She quickly got into bed and Josh read her a Princess story. She asked why there is always a bad person in the Princess stories. Josh explained to her it's because in life there is always an opposition, but who wins in the end? The good. Then he explained the Gospel to her, how Jesus always wins in the end. It was a good end to the evening. We think something clicked for her tonight.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Princess is Sick.

Israel woke up at 5 this morning throwing up.  If you have known us a while you know that makes me nervous, as last time she threw up she ended up in the hospital.  Please pray for her and for me as I get sick when I see, smell or hear the stuff.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

FINALLY an update

Hey everyone, bet you are wondering what's going on at Irby Road!? Here's a quick update:

My parents and sister came after Christmas. We had a great time together playing Cards late into the night.

We went to Spain in January for a conference. We spent a few days in Barcelona for vacation. It was great to go to the Aquarium and run around in the parks. Then at the conference in Nerja we got to be on a worship team with Seth and Laura (Josh's brother and sister in law). They live in IN and are on staff with Keynote, CCC's music ministry. It was really fun to be with them (and to see Laura pregnant! She's expecting their 2nd baby, a boy, in April!) . The kids had their own conference. A church from the US sent a children's ministry team and did a full out VBS. At the end, the kids could recite Eph. 2:10! They also provided free babysitting when needed. It was wonderful.

ZAGREB: We spent a few days in Zagreb, Croatia for a day of celebration with all the staff from Croatia and Bosnia. We got to stay with our national directors, Brooke and Karen Butler who we always enjoy being with!

VALENTINE'S: We had a Valentine's party for Israel and Elijah's friend. A few MK's came and some of Israel's Bosnian friends from ballet. It was wonderful! (see my FB for pictures)

MOVING: We moved to a new house! We LOVE our new place. It is so comfortable for our family and quiet and beautiful.

SNOW. We have had so much snow dumped on Sarajevo in Feb. and March! We are excited to see spring come. But we have had fun sledding on the Olympic mountain and outside our home! And making snowmen :)

DIANE: My dear friend Diane Thiel came for a visit last week! Diane's been a friend of mine (and a mentor) since college. 4 years ago, her husband was killed in a car accident when a man who was recklessly driving ran into him. 1 1/2 years ago she stood before this man and forgave him because of the forgiveness Christ has shown her in her life. She got to share this story in many different venues around our city. It was amazing to see God use this powerful testimony in the lives of so many people. Having her in our home and showing her our city was so much fun!!!

LANGUAGE: We all still are working on language. We took Israel out of preschool for now since she was really missing Elijah. She still is taking ballet and doing a great job...meeting lots of new friends and is really happy there. Our babysitter Merima is speaking only Bosnian with the kids now, and teaching Israel some great life skills like baking homemade bread and crepes and cleaning. Elijah is working on his basketball! He can shoot and make the basket now!

COMING TO THE US: We come back to the States May 7 and will be in Atlanta for 4 weeks. Then we are going to Ft. Collins Colorado for 6 weeks for a training. Please pray for us for this time. We need to raise more support. We also need to borrow a car and 2 car seats so if you know of anyone who can help with this, let us know!

FROM ISRAEL: vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvbnmm,,

FROM ELIJAH:nnnnzpmmtaxcvbnm,....

We love you all and thank you for your support and prayers!